Pursuing Hope

Hopelessness is the best lie the enemy has ever come up with. As Christians, we have every reason for hope, but our situations often convince us that hope is the lie. The enemy can convince us that we are defined by our circumstances, and when we look around we see no reason to be hopeful. Whether you are struggling with feeling far from hope, or if someone near to you (family, friends, a roommate, someone you disciple) is caught by these feelings, it can be hard to know what to do. So in this post I wanted to share a few practical ways to encourage people who are struggling to believe that their story can be one of hope.

That being said, I’m not a professional. I always, always, always, believe that counseling is one of the most powerful tools ever, and mental health professionals can provide tools specific for every individual. These tools I’m going to share are very generic, and are backed by my own experiences struggling with clinical depression. What works for me may not work for everyone, but the best thing you can do (besides counseling, we love counseling) is try. And if you feel like there’s nothing left to try, and there’s no way anything can work, try again. Galatians 6:9 says, “And do not let us grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.” Pursuing hope is absolutely good, because to pursue hope is to pursue God, because God is our hope. And God will always be faithful to release hope in our lives where we sow into it.

The first thing that can be helpful in transforming our mindset to believe we can have a story of hope is to constantly remind ourselves that we are not defined by our circumstances. We are not defined by the hard things that have happened in our past. We are not defined by the loneliness we feel, or by what others tell us we are. We are defined by Christ. The story of David in the Bible is a great example of this. David’s circumstances told him that he was the youngest of eight sons and that there would be no future or inheritance for him. God told David that he would be king over all of Israel. David’s circumstances told him that he was young and untrained and that there was no way he could ever defeat the Philistine giant trained as a warrior. God told David to go pluck five stones from a river and that he would deliver victory into David’s hands. Circumstance told David that he was a wanted fugitive with no hope or reason to live because his own mentor and king wanted him dead. God brought David victory with honor and raised him up to king, just as he had promised. Though there were thirty years and many hardships before David saw the fulfillment of God’s promise, David could have hope greater than his circumstances because of who God said he was.

Knowing our identity can help us believe in hope. If you are struggling with hopelessness, I would encourage you to seek out biblical and Godly truth about your identity. Reading the bible is a great place to start if you feel lost on how to do that. The book of Ephesians is really great to learn more about who God says we are as his children. Your disciplers are also great resources for truth about identity, and though it may be hard to open up about what you struggle with, I want to encourage you that your vulnerability will be honored and appreciated by your discipler. We love being able to love and encourage the people we disciple by speaking truth into hopelessness. And you can always come to Wesley and ask to talk to someone. If you are reading this post with someone else in mind, one of the biggest ways that you can help your friends or family or loved ones who feel hopeless is to encourage them by reminding them of their identity.

So, in conclusion, here’s a short list of deeply practical ways to pursue hope:

1) Read the bible to remember what God has done and what he wants to do
2) Keep repeating your Godly identity, even when it doesn’t feel true. You are loved. You
are valued.
3) Reach out to community and be vulnerable to ask for encouragement.
4) Ask God to show you ways there is hope already present in your life.
5) Make a decision to be stubborn against the enemy, and just keep trying.
6) Counseling! There are always so many reasons not to go, but I truly believe it is
something that’s worth it.
7) Find something that brings you joy and reminds you of the good things God has
promised you, and pursue that thing. Some examples are writing, drawing, going on
walks, encouraging others, exploring new places, and being around those you care
about!

Hope is real, even when we feel hopeless. If you are fighting for hope, I just want you to know
that I am deeply proud of you. The strength you show in pursuing hope is honestly amazing.
Keep fighting, and keep trusting God. He is the most worthy of your trust, and he will always
follow through.

Author | Sarah Savoie

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